Students’ Perception and Preference of Problem Based Learning During Introductory Course of a Nepalese Medical School

Satish Raj Ghimire, Shital Bhandary


Introductions: Problem based learning is considered superior to the
conventional didactic teaching for contextual learning, long term retention of knowledge, development of generic skill and attitudes. This study looked in to the students’ perception and preference of problem bases learning in a sixmonth introductory course in the beginning of undergraduate medical school program.
Methods: A 20-item questionnaire with four-point rating scale (1-strongly
disagree, 2-Disagree, 3-Agree and 4-Strongly agree) was administered to collect first year medical students’ perception on problem based learning during first six month introductory course (June 2010 to November 2010) of first batch of medical students. The questionnaire included 13-items for perception and seven for preferences. It also had an open-ended comment section.
Results: Students showed positive reaction problem based learning
irrespective of gender or educational background in providing contextual
learning and retention of knowledge. Students agreed that it fostered generic skills (communication, group work, critical thinking, reasoning, reflectiveness and self-directed learning). Students wished for more such sessions in more subjects with short content assessment at the end of the sessions.
Conclusions: Problem based learning is fun, provides contextual learning
and imparts long term retention of knowledge through students’ active
participation in a small group. It also promotes generic skills and self-directed life-long learning.
Keywords: medical school, perception, problem based learning, students

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